Alan Pardew has warned Wilfried Zaha about his dive against Newcastle but believes the winger is capable of earning an England recall before the season’s end.
The yellow card Zaha picked up in Crystal Palace’s 5-1 win will mean he is suspended from Monday’s trip to Everton and Pardew says it could put his first-team place at risk in the short term.
But the Palace boss, who has been impressed with Zaha’s improved form so far this season, has tipped him to force his way into Roy Hodgson’s thinking for the first time since earning his second cap in August 2013.
“At Leicester he should have had a penalty, it was a foul, but on Saturday it was a dive and he’s paid the price,” Pardew said. “He can’t play this week and now his place is in jeopardy because if someone comes in and does a great job then he might not get back in the side.
“He’ll learn that lesson. He’s not somebody that’s renowned for diving, and it is something I personally discourage, I really don’t like it in the game. He’s had my feelings on it. I’ve been very, very pleased with him, it’s just a tiny aspect of his game he needs to correct.
“(Zaha’s) one of the few wide players who can actually go past someone from a standing start. In the England side, you have players who are very, very good with the ball in front of them: Theo Walcott, (Alex Oxlade) Chamberlain, (Ross) Barkley, but Wilf is probably a rare breed in that he is a natural wide player who can beat people, and that might be a nice addition for the squad if he can keep up this consistency.
“Roy (Hodgson) is right to not have him in the squad or in his thinking at this time, but I know he’s keeping a close eye on him. If he can show consistency throughout the season that might be a nice option for Roy to have in the Euros.”
The manager also effectively confirmed reports of his interest in non-league winger Randell Williams, 18, who is on trial with Palace from Tower Hamlets, having once been a Tottenham trainee.
“It’s very unusual (for us to have a player in from that level),” Pardew said. “He’s done very well, so we’ll see how he goes. I’ll keep you updated on that one.
“He’s a left winger, but I’m not going to tell you his name, in case that gets passed onto somebody else.”